In this episode, I talk with Family Pastor Chris Sasser, of Port City Community Church. Chris shares how he and his team are partnering with parents in their church through The Parent Network. The Parent Network is a 4-part initiative they started two years ago. Chris walks us through how they launched The Parent Network, shares the four parts of their strategy, and gives the inside scoop on how their church shifted from a ministry-centric mindset to a parent-centric mindset for partnering with parents.
Links Mentioned in This Episode
Ministry Architects – A team of church leaders who want to help you develop a clear plan for your ministry (One of the ways they do this is by helping you facilitate focus groups in your church)
The Phase Project – A project dedicated to helping parents understand and leverage each phase of their child’s life
The Parent Network – A hub for all the parents of Port City Community Church who have plugged into The Parent Network. This is the primary place where resources for parents are shared. Some content is original, and other content is pulled from sites like Orange, D6Family.com, and AllProDad.com.
Parent Network Podcast – A podcast that the Family Ministry of Port City Community Church started for the parents and families in their church
4 Components of The Parent Network
- Events for parents (2 big events/year and a few topical seminars)
- Events for parents and kids (4/year)
- Resources (Shared on the church's website)
- Parent partners (Three 3-month cycles/year of mentors)
5 Keys to Hosting Events for Parents
- Make the events free
- Schedule them in the evening
- Always offer free childcare
- Provide great content
- Provide contexts for parents to have conversations with one another
- Check out The Parent Network
- Evaluate your current strategy for partnering with parents
- Make a list of the different components of partnering with parents and prioritize them. Then determine: What is one thing you could do in the next year to better partner with parents?
- Invite 10 parents from your church to be part of a focus group and ask: How would you like the church to partner with you?
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Next Episode: Erin English
In the next episode, I talk with Erin English. Erin is the Early Childhood Pastor at Westside Family Church. Erin shares the principles and practical steps that went into growing her volunteer team from 250 to 400 in just two years. We then have a great conversation about goal setting and evaluations, digging into the importance of using these great tools to help you pursue what God has in store for you and your ministry this year.